The Chicago Transit Board today voted to approve a cash fare increase for 2006. Customers who pay with cash or rail customers who pay with magnetic strip transit cards will see fares rise from $1.75 to $2 starting January 1, 2006. Transfers will also be eliminated for customers paying with those methods. In addition, fares on downtown shuttle buses will rise from $1 to $2.
The CTA says that shifting away from cash fares will speed-up boarding and reduce cash handling costs.
Fares will not change for customers who use a magnetic strip transit card on the bus system or unlimited ride passes on either bus or rail, and for customers who use either the Chicago Card or Chicago Card Plus on bus and rail. These customers will also continue to be eligible to transfer throughout the CTA system.
The Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus are electronic smart-cards that can be reloaded either online using a credit card or using cash at various fare machines located at CTA rail stations and other select locations throughout the city. The board has voted to waive the $5 purchase fee for the cards from December 1, 2005 through March 31, 2006.